Texting is tacky. Calling is awkward. Email is old. Next time try Somebody — an app created by Miranda July with support from Miu Miu. When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. Somebody works best with a critical mass of users in a given area; colleges, workplaces, parties and concerts can become Somebody hotspots simply by designating themselves as one (official hotspots on somebodyapp.com). The most high-tech part of the app is not in the programming, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to a stranger. In this sense Somebody is a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and twisting our love of avatars and outsourcing. The antithesis of the utilitarian efficiency that tech promises, here, finally, is an app that makes us nervous, giddy, and alert to the people around us.
Visit somebodyapp.com for details and to watch Miranda July’s companion film! Use Somebody when….
…you want to confess your love but you don’t actually want to confess your love. (Write a script for your stand-in that includes the direction [Nervous.])
…you want to send an appealing stranger to your friend. (But read his ratings and reviews first!)
…you can’t go to the party but you want your presence felt. (Send a stand-in to compliment the host!)
…you want to meet new people nearby. (Pick a floating message and deliver it!)
…you want to create a once-in-a-lifetime, real, unpredictable experience for a friend!
When you can’t be there….Somebody can.
How do YOU use Somebody? Tell Miranda! [email protected]